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managed fleets cost of carbon

Managed fleets like this one are also part of the cost of carbon.

Today marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, where over 150 people died as a result of the storm and it’s aftermath. On the one hand, this is a tragic event and it was unfortunate that it happened. On the other hand, Hurricane Sandy was just the most recent in a series of natural disasters. Fourteen months prior to Hurricane Sandy, Tropical Storm Irene hit the Northeast causing $15 billion dollars in damages. Sandy was also more devastating, as these superstorm statistics reveal:

  • $65 billion in damages and economic losses.
  • 200,000 small business closures from damage or power outages.
  • 2 million working days lost.
  • 8 flooded tunnels in New York
  • 25 percent of cell sites out of service in 10 states.
  • Estimates of total damage to the entire transit, road and bridge system in New Jersey reached $2.9 billion.
  • New York’s transportation infrastructure, minus the subway system, suffered an estimated $2.5 billion in damage.

The Cost of Carbon

These costs of Superstorm Sandy affected more than just those that lived on the East Cost and those that did business on the Eastern Seaboard. It affected entire industries like the trucking industry who also have a vested interest in the area’s recovery and who can’t be at its best because of problems such as the working days lost and the lack of cell phone service. The cost of carbon is much more than bigger natural disasters and changing climates. It also includes a shift in our livelihoods and our way of life. Trucking is very much a part of that, and trucking can be part of the problem, or it can be part of the solution.

One Year Later

It’s been one year since the disaster, and thousands are still without a home and still without government aid or insurance money to rebuild. The industry is already making improvements, as U.S carbon emissions are at their lowest since 1994, but the time for action is now. This is action from everyone in the transportation community, and not just a few managed fleets or forward-thinking companies. The costs of carbon, of inaction, and of the climate change are already hitting the United States and aren’t going to stop. Below is a video illustrating more of these costs and the action that it will take to make a change:

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Car Repair: When to DIY and When to Go to a Mechanic

On October 24, 2013, in Guest Posts, Tire Care, by allisonmreilly
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DIY car repairA recent study by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) found that the trend of DIY car repair is shifting. Perhaps as people recover from the 2008 recession, they are going back to the old means of car repair: hiring a mechanic to do it for them. While DIY can save money, it isn’t always worth it and may be more expensive in the long run—especially if you don’t fix the right part (or don’t fix the part correctly) and then need to take your car to a professional anyway. Learn when to DIY and when to have someone DIFY when it comes to car repair.

DIY: From Beginner to Expert

As The Humble Mechanic notes, there are five variables to consider when deciding whether or not to make that car repair yourself:

  • Price – How much will the job cost to outsource, and how much will you save by doing it yourself? If you can purchase a part for $25 and save $50 on labor, that seems like a good deal. However, if a job takes you three times as long, you lose out in the end.
  • Passion – If you can take or leave car repair, leave it to the pros and spend that time doing something you love. But if you love tinkering, you might opt to challenge yourself with long repairs just because you love it, and that’s fine.
  • Time – It may make sense to pay for the repair if it will take you a long time to complete the job. For simple tasks with a low time frame, DIY makes sense.
  • Knowledge – There are many ways to get knowledge, so if all that’s holding you back is lack of knowledge, get to work. You can use print and online resources to boost your skills.
  • Tools – If you need special tools to complete the job, it’s generally worth it to pay the mechanic rather than invest in tools you may not use again.

With these tips in mind, evaluate the difficulty of your project and decide whether to DIY or call your go-to guy. AASA recommends that auto repair newbies begin with easy jobs like changing the antifreeze or replacing the car battery, and folks with some experience try mid-level tasks like installing brake pads and brake shoes. High skill-level projects like changing water pumps require expertise and special tools and aren’t usually good candidates for the average DIYer.

Tips for Dealing With Your Mechanic

Even if you decide to leave the job to your Savannah mechanic, you don’t have to trust every word he says. The AutoParts Warehouse app lets you check the price of car parts to ensure you’re not being overcharged for make/model replacements.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence enables you to search for qualified mechanics by zip code, and you can check the value of your old car with Kelley Blue Book. When your car’s maintenance costs outweigh its value, you can find used cars in Savannah by Drivetime dealer or zip code, for example. When you need a mechanic’s aid, these tools help ensure that you’re getting quality service for the price point and that the vehicle you’re driving is safe.

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nitrogen in tiresThis is a guest post from Kerry Blake.

Many myths about the use of nitrogen in tires exist in the wake of its relatively recent expansion in the world of passenger vehicles. These myths pertain to the supposed miraculous effects of using nitrogen in tires as opposed to regular air, and how they are presented to the consumer market. For that reason, we have decided to clear the air (no pun intended) and present to you some facts relating to nitrogen tire inflation.

Moisture

There is not much difference between switching from oxygen to nitrogen in new and used cars, but there is a difference between inflating your tires with normal air in, for example, San Diego and Las Vegas. One of the main advantages of nitrogen is the fact that it doesn’t allow any moisture in the form of water vapor to remain on the tire wall, while some percentage of water vapor is inevitable in air, which consists of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1% of CO2, water vapor and other gasses. That percentage, of course, will be somewhat higher along the coastline and the air will be drier in places like Las Vegas, so it is not quite the same if you fill your tire with air at the seaside or in the desert. You will also strain your tires more when driving in an extremely hot or cold environment. Excess moisture may contribute to the corrosion of rims and cause your tire pressure to be less stable in more extreme temperatures and harsher surroundings. For that reason, nitrogen is used for inflating tires in F1, airplanes and various other vehicles where the tires are exposed to extreme temperature changes.

Performance

Since nitrogen molecules about four times bigger than oxygen molecules, they cannot pass through the rubber structure as easily. That is why a tire filled with nitrogen will maintain its pressure much longer, making it less likely for you to end up driving on under-inflated tires, which will affect the fuel economy and handling somewhat.

Nitrogen will maintain the tire pressure at the same level for about three times longer than regular air, which means you won’t have to check your tire pressure every couple of days. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can forget about your tires and stop checking the pressure altogether. Monitoring the pressure in your tire is the only way for you to be sure you are making the most out of your car. Nitrogen also ensures more accurate readings, so you don’t unintentionally over-inflate or under-inflate your tires and ruin your fuel economy.

Is it worth it?

If you drive a truck on ice roads of northern Canada or a or in the hot, desert climate of the Southwest, then it is definitely worth it to switch nitrogen tire inflation. There is a reason it is used in F1 cars and airplanes and it is precisely in these types of extreme conditions that nitrogen has been proven to be much more stable and predictable than normal air. Even though you’re not driving at the same speeds as race cars, this doesn’t mean that you and your tires aren’t affected by the outside temperature, especially in climates that have an 80-degree difference or more between summer and winter.

Additional resources:

Carzoos

The Winter Benefits of Putting Nitrogen in Your Tires

Some of the Wackiest Arguments Against Nitrogen Tire Inflation

Nitrogen in Tires Consumer Reports Response

nitrogen tire inflation white paper cta

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